Is there anything called a freelance interview?
And what are the common questions interviewers ask in a freelance interview setting?
New freelancers/beginner work from home people and some seasoned ones face a dilemma when it comes to having a face to face interview with their clients.
In this article, I’ll show you how to prepare yourself for a freelance interview and quickly win an online job.
But first – congratulations on getting to the interview stage.
A lot of freelancers don’t get to the interview stage. You’re a great addition to a client’s team, so give yourself a big pat on the back to get the interview.
I want you to muster up your courage know you will ace the interview.
Think of all the portfolios and resumes you sent and how they wowed your employer. So stay calm and collected that you made it this far – to a freelance interview!
The first thing I’d advise you is as you prepare for the interview. I want you to do company research.
You want to know the kind of people or company you’re going to work for as you keep getting ahead in the freelance world.
Also, remind yourself clients are looking for the best in freelance talent, and you’re the best, can’t insist this enough.
How to Quickly Land a Dream Job Working Online in Kenya
The following tips will help you get your dream job as a freelancer in an interview setting. This guide will walk you through all you need to know about attending a freelance interview, and they include the following:
1. Don’t get distracted
There are lots of distractions working from home – neighbours booming music, internet interruptions, kids cry, dogs and cats fighting and barking – it’s endless distractions.
While there is some noise you cannot control like dogs, cows and chicken cries, you can work around these distractions by staying in a quiet room.
Using noise-cancelling headphones. Do some feng shui for your office space where you have minimal clutter.
Feng Shui recommends you surrounding yourself with things that bring you energy throughout.
I do feng shui by having my walls white and allowing in as much natural light as possible.
In 2012, I couldn’t attend an interview because I worked on my laps.
I had no couches or anything in the house or a desk!
I was so embarrassed, therefore ended up missing on a million job opportunities.
The lighting in the house was the yellow bulbs because I was saving on the led lights. And the house I lived in was so dark.
You want your bulbs to light you up, literally. The only thing I had was a quiet place and uninterrupted times so that I could work non-stop.
I also had unstoppable internet and a serious determination. Stay away from distractions like social media, naysayers and doubters.
Stay away from anything that brings low energy to you; low energy means low performance in your work.
Related articles Avoiding Distractions Working From Home in Kenya, How I Stay Productive
Top 20 Noise- Cancelling Headphones For Freelancers Reviewed for Kenyans: Amazon’s Best Choices
2. Choose a good time
A good time meaning when you will be met with less noise/distractions. When your brain is functioning well.
That’s why it’s important to know about your clients time zones so you can work around that.
You want to work when you’re the most productive.
Since lockdown in March 2020, it’s been so hard to schedule interviews and meetings because of my kids running around.
I have chased them so many times that my youngest calls me a MONSTER!!!.
I’m more productive in the afternoons and when I wake up plus from 9 pm when no one is talking in the house.
No matter how big the house is, slight distractions make me lose focus, that’s why I recommend some earbuds or headphones or simply white noise.
3. Practice by interviewing yourself
How do you feel when you talk to yourself? I find myself appreciating more when I can hear my voice.
Same with interviewing yourself, you are going to feel the fear and shake go away.
You’ll listen to yourself hear about yourself and how you talk and sound.
I find you give yourself better feedback when you record the sounds so you listen to slip-ups and how the interview went.
I talk to myself a lot, that helps settle the interview fear.
I have prepared the commonly asked questions freelance clients ask freelancers for you to practice. Read the article, asap.
4. Be professional
When people hear professionalism, they believe it’s a complicated process.
In a freelance interview, professionalism is about arriving at the interview at the scheduled and agreed time.
Arriving well prepared and dressed ready with your portfolio, contract and samples in handy.
Professionalism is asking who will call for your interview so you can address the interviewer in their name and not call them Sir/Madam, which can be irritating for some clients.
Professionalism involves knowing whether your microphone, headset and Zoom/Skype are working and not arriving at the interview only to realise you cannot hear the interviewer/see them.
Also, come prepared with a notebook to write down what you believe is important or your take-home points during the interview.
Ensure you’re consistent. Have your resume and cover letter and everything you say is reflected in the cover letter and resume too.
5. Know about your pricing before attending the interview
I didn’t know that pricing my writing was so crucial as a freelancer.
I arrived at interviews unprepared for what to charge.
I learnt this from a client who advised to always come to the room ready with numbers and if need be a calculator.
A calculator, in case a client quotes a number because you’re not a mathematician, you can come up with an answer.
So, do you know your rates? Do you know how much you’re worth?
Do you know if you want to get paid per hour, per project, per audio second or minute?
6. Ask questions
Questions you must ask your freelance client include, what are the goals or plans you have for this project and why?
What’s the desired outcome for this project, and why?
What’s your hope?
What do you desire I help you achieve for employing me in this project?
Do you know why you ask clients questions?
You want to know their preferences, and you want to show your passion for the client’s projects and what he desires to achieve.
You want more job offers because you did your best and want more referrals because a freelancer’s net-worth grows by the list of clients who refers them to other clients.
You want to shine and stand out because you’re not just working to pay bills, but you’re building a freelance outstanding brand.
When you ask clients questions, you realise they ease up, they loosen up and tell you more, their fears, hopes and achievements not only for you but for the project.
READ: Ask Better Questions to Work from Home Clients
7. Have your samples in handy
There’s nothing that oozes confidence as your samples.
You want to show your clients your commitment to the projects and what you have worked on before as a freelancer.
Have your portfolios URLS or Google Doc links.
Have them at the reach of a button and share them with your client.
8. Research the company
Researching a company hasn’t always been in my radar until in 2014 when someone reached to me via my online resume, a badly written resume, haha.
Upon researching his company anywhere, even on Linkedin, I found out nothing.
He was offering to pay me $100/month for writing up to 20 articles a month! Can you imagine the pay insult?
Yes, I was desperately looking for more freelance writing opportunities because I didn’t know exactly what I was going to write about, but I knew I’d never work a 2-dollar job again.
Company research will help you know the client you’re about to work with.
You will get to know their culture, and if they believe in the hard effort, freelancers put forth.
You will know how much you get paid, and when and by whom? You will know if you will get paid or your payment will always get delayed.
Related Article: Why Researching a Company as a Freelancer Helps You Get An Online JOB in Kenya.
What Do YOU As a Freelancer Do When a Client doesn’t Pay?
9. Let your commitment and passion to the role show
No matter what people say about passion, I’m all for working on a passion project.
Finding what drives you without being forced to get to work, and you won’t find a struggle in your job.
When you’re working on a project for the money, it always shows.
The early years of my freelancing work, I worked for the money until I got it all and learnt a thing or two about financial literacy.
I want you to work on your passion; it shows to your clients by your upbeat and confident voice.
You want to shine through because you’re getting paid to do what you love.
Don’t go with the false trends of doing what everyone else wants you to do.
I have seen freelancers who started before me getting back to 9-5 because this wasn’t their thing.
Show your client you came for the job and the money through your work.
10. Review if the job is a match
My, my my. I won’t forget May 2019 when I got a very nice high-paying gig in an Australian content marketing and writing company.
I was over the moon for earning $100 for a 1000 word article, every freelance writer’s dream online.
What I didn’t realise was how unhappy I’d be in the role.
I had so much going on; I couldn’t handle the workload.
I slacked and got sacked.
You want to review your priorities and set them straight, be real to yourself and what you can handle.
Ask questions during the interview about the company you are about to work in to ensure they’re a match.
11. Dress like you are going for an office interview
Yes. You’ll see many part-time freelancers saying you don’t need to dress up, and you can work in your pyjamas.
While this is a reality for the days you want to complete all the lined-up tasks, it’s not really for me.
The times I wake up to work, I find I become so unproductive during the day.
Have a solid and qualified morning routine, I call mine, my Power Morning Coffee, and I stopped drinking coffee in 2018. I walk, read, meditate, set my goals for the day, shower and eat a left-over meal for my breakfast. I love left-overs!
Read and Watch my Power Morning Routine and Why It Has Helped Me Earn Better as a Kenyan Freelancer
Watch the Power Morning Routine
12. Be honest with your interview don’t exaggerate to seem more qualified than you are
You can get tempted to exaggerate what you are capable of doing.
I think I exaggerated about professionally writing SEO articles and that’s why the burnout was real.
I found myself researching for so long about topics I could write in 30 minutes about to get a ‘credible source’.
I felt like pissing my pants.
I take less than 25 minutes to write 1000 words for this blogposts, and I write very long blog posts.
I write these 2500 words in an hour when I’m in a quiet environment with no distractions.
In a day, I write up to 10k words, size of an ebook or majority ebooks! I wrote 1000words in 24 hours and felt like collapsing. See?
Love what you do, then be honest about your qualifications no one’s going to fire you.
If you’re a beginner, state so to your employer, then work as if you’re an intermediate by providing the best you can.
13. Have your freelance contract ready
Don’t go to an interview without your freelance contract ready.
A contract is a binding agreement between you and another party, in this case, your client.
In this binding agreement, the client agrees to pay for your effort, and you agree to complete your tasks and outline things like the deadline and communication channels.
A contract helps protect you in case you come across a monster employer.
Related: Signs of a Bad Freelance Client You MUST Be Wary Of
How to Write a Winning Freelance Contract and Why It’s Important
14. You’re a qualified specialist behave like one
I insist have a freelance brand.
Since a client asked me what’s my company and why do I charge so much for my services, I felt he taught me a few things, establish your brand and what your company does.
The first step in establishing a brand these days is a website.
Have a website and bring in more clients by writing content (content market) is the best way to establish your brand. Write relevant and helpful content.
A website helps you develop your brand voice and have a brand story.
Now, have a logo.
Specialists (experts and gurus charge what’s their worth and aren’t afraid to network or put themselves out there).
Related: How to Build a Freelance Brand in Kenya
15. What are your limitations in the role?
Many clients want to know if they’re working with a human being or with a robot.
A robot is a programmed machine that’s not allowed to make mistakes.
A human being is bound to make errors all the time.
Clients ask these questions in a freelance setting, as irrelevant as it may sound because they know some bad things happen to freelancers all the time.
From power outages to illnesses.
You want to underpromise but over-deliver meaning – don’t promise a turnaround of 24 hours when you know that’s impossible.
Promise a 24-hour turnaround then turn the work in 8 or fewer hours.
Your clients will appreciate you forever, and that’s the kind of name you live for in the freelancing world.
In conclusion, I cannot insist enough, freelance clients are looking for the best, and you got to the interview level.
Pat yourself on the back, do you know how many freelancers are out there in the world right now in 2020, and the number will keep increasing as more people look for work from home opportunities?
When attending a freelance interview, extra care must be taken into account surrounding your work environment, you want a quiet, dedicated workspace that’s well lit and you want the least amount of distractions possible.
Also, contrary to what you hear from online gurus and freelancers, always wake up with a plan in mind.
You’re a business owner, and business owners dress up to the occasion.
Have a solid morning routine plan, that’s a winner and have a plan for everything you want to achieve from writing goals (word count you want to write daily) if you’re a writer, to your earning goals.
Freelancing/working online from home is interesting and rewarding only if you know how to reap the fruits.
Attend a freelance interview like a pro and secure that bag darling.
Are there more tips for acing a freelance interview you have up your sleeve as a seasoned or newbie freelancer you have learnt?
We always love adding those tips and tricks to our expanding resource about winning a freelance interview.